5.24.2007

pray for peace in memory of the dead

Two years ago on Memorial Day I wrote: "This year Memorial Day seems more poignant than usual. So many lives have been lost in the Iraq war. Not to mention the 37 other armed conflicts across the globe." I then went on to list the specific numbers of casualties of the Iraq war which have only increased.
  • As of Memoria Day 2005 over 1,6000 Americans had been killed in Iraq. This number is now over 3,400. (Source: icasualties.org)
  • As of Memorial Day 2005 there between 21,000 and 25,000 reported deaths of Iraqi cilivians. This number is now between 63,000 and 70,000. (Source: Iraq Body Count.) These are just specific civilian deaths reported in the media. The actual number is much higher and could be as high as 650,000 or 2.5% of the Iraqi population. (Source: Lancet Survey)
Two years ago I wrote:

But on this memorial day I do not just remember my countrymen, but my Iraqi brothers and sisters as well. ... All of these people, American and coalition soldiers, Iraqi soldiers and police, and the women, men and children who try to live their lives in the war zone that is Iraq have families and loved ones who mourn them. On this memorial day I keep them all in my prayers and in my heart.

My life in America is so far removed from their reality, even though the mess that is the Iraq war was started in my/our name. To "protect" my/your freedom. ...

I agree with Pope John Paul II who said, "No to war! … It is always a defeat for humanity."
I agree with MLK who said "Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows."
I agree with Master Yoda, who "said," "Wars do not make one great."

But on this memorial day I do not protest, but pray. For an end to war. For God’s peace to fill our hearts, and to comfort those who mourn and remember those they have lost. What else can I do?

It's two years later, and I find myself in the same space, while the conflict has become more and more violent. No matter what your political affiliations, please join me in praying for peace this Memorial day to honor the memories of all those who have died. This has become my simple peace prayer mantra:

May peace fill our hearts, our homes and our world. Amen

2 comments:

Regina Clare Jane said...

Thank you for this, Susan... peace begins with each and every one of us...

bill bannon said...

I found Pope Benedict's comments on war in Europe and its futility as being imitative of John Paul and not being really rational. Had people not fought Hitler aggressively....he would have killed even more Jews and he would have taken over Europe including Vatican City. I'm sorry but this issue does not seem to be treated realistically by the Church clerical. Imagine the US leaving Iraq by next Saturday. What then?
Shiites and Sunnis in constant urban war with Iran coming in to help the Shiites and Sunni nations meeting to gather forces to come to the aid of Sunnis. There simply is no easy answer even if we leave by a hypothetical next Saturday. And the rate of deaths per day would be far higher even though it is awful now.